Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Lost Childhood of Jimi Hendrix

Charles R. Cross's new biography of Jimi Hendrix, Room Full of Mirrors, is reviewed in today's New York Times. It's yet another story about a lost childhood and the subsequent quest to find the stability and love Hendrix never got as a child. The result was a life filled with an endless supply of drugs and sex. The NYT review states, "more than one woman tells of coming into his room to find him with five or more lovers already in his bed. Exhaustion became his regular state, and in his last days he desperately went from woman to woman."

Listen to this sad moment of a man trying to find the love he never had as a boy: "As he did with Cobain, Cross ties Hendrix's emotional malnutrition as a child to his inability to cope with fame as an adult, leading to constant longing and disappointment. A few months before he died, Hendrix the superstar came through Seattle on tour... Driving past the hospital where his mother had died, he searched in vain for her grave. Then he came to a run-down, vacant house where he had lived as a boy and spent countless hours playing the broomstick. Going up to the window, ''he put his hands around his eyes,'' Cross writes, ''pressed his face against the glass, and peered into the shadows, as if he were searching for something he had lost.'' "